like his Russian counterparts but he spent his inexhaustible talent in writing numerous short stories, which record, in an immediate and unassuming way and with genuine human feeling unsurpassed in its simplicity and its descriptive power, the daily round of the Orthodox experience, as a source of meaning, consolation, hope and beauty. No other writer in Greek or Balkan literature has written with more tenderness and affection about personal expressions of piety, about congregations worshipping, and about the emotional impact of Orthodox ritual set against the poetry of the Greek landscape. Papadiamantis shared with his famous Russian contemporaries the inspiration coming from the heritage of the Philokalia, which had lingered on in the Aegean insular world where he had grown up and which provided the primary material for his stories. But the Philokalic inspiration in Papadiamantis's prose was a source of solace and redemption for human suffering, not a force tearing apart the human personality by means of the dilemmas it posed. The renewed interest in Papadiamantis in the late twentieth century and the attraction exercised by his work on major Greek thinkers, such as Zisimos Lorenzatos, is a sign that amidst all the vicissitudes endured by Orthodoxy because of its association with nationalism, an inner spiritual core remains strong and viable as a life choice in the twenty-first century.34
34 The dramaofquality: selectedessaysby Zisimos Lorenzatos, trans. L. Sherrard(Limni, Euboia: Denise Harvey Publications, 2000), 7-28.
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